Search Programs

Harvard Business School - Full-Time MBA

Harvard Full-Time MBA Program Structure

Harvard Business School’s MBA program lasts two years, with students using the summer break between the first and second year to complete an internship.


At the start of the Harvard MBA program, incoming students are divided into sections of around 90 students who take all of their first-year courses together. These sections are designed to include a diverse range of backgrounds, professional experiences and interests and are seen as a highlight of an HBS student’s MBA experience.

HBS mandates that all students complete the first-year required curriculum, which is comprised of a total of 11 courses spread across two semesters and the January Term and a year-long course called the Field Immersion Experience for Leadership Development (FIELD). The program begins with five required courses: Finance; Financial Reporting and Control; Leadership and Organizational Behavior; Marketing; and Technology and Operations Management. In the spring semester of the first year, students take Business, Government, and the International Economy; Strategy; The Entrepreneurial Manager; Leadership and Corporate Accountability; and Finance 2.

Throughout their first year, students also complete their FIELD course. In the fall, students break into smaller teams to evaluate their leadership styles. During the January Term, students travel abroad to an emerging market to develop a product or service for a global partner. The year concludes with students designing and launching microbusinesses.

During the second year, students must complete 30 credits worth of electives, selecting from over 120 options across 10 academic areas: Accounting and Management; Business, Government & the International Economy; Entrepreneurial Management; Finance; General Management; Marketing; Negotiation, Organizations & Markets; Organizational Behavior; Strategy; and Technology & Operations Management. Electives are worth either three or 1.5 credits, with three-credit courses lasting the full semester and 1.5-credit courses lasting a single quarter. Options include 17 FIELD courses, where students design an independent project related to a specific area of interest, and seven immersion experience courses, where students travel abroad during the January Term to work with an organization on a specific business problem.

Full-Time MBA Rankings

• U.S. News & World Report: 3 (tie)
• Bloomberg: 3
• Forbes: 4
Financial Times: 1
The Economist: 2

Class Profile

Harvard Business School enrolled 930 students in its Class of 2020. The average age of students in this class was 27 at the time of matriculation, while their median GMAT score is 730. Approximately 41 percent of the class is female, 37 percent is international, and 26 percent of students come from U.S. ethnic minority groups. A full 83 percent of students have an education background in STEM or business, and 27 percent of the class came from professional backgrounds in consulting or financial services.

Career Statistics

Nearly 95 percent of 2018 Harvard MBA graduates received a job offer within three months of graduating with 89 percent accepting their offers. The median salary of Harvard MBA graduates is $140,000 with a $25,000 median signing bonus and $28,750 in other median guaranteed compensation. Nearly 66 percent of the graduating class that accepted job offers received a signing bonus. The majority of employed graduates worked in financial services, consulting and technology.

Tuition, Scholarships, and Financial Aid

The Harvard Business School full-time MBA tuition is $73,440 per year for the Class of 2020, with slight differences in tuition for those that are married and or have children. The school estimates that room, board and other personal expenses for a single student will total $28,592 ($3,316 per month) for a nine-month period, with books, additional materials and other costs totaling $7,456 per year. The total cost is $110,740 for a single student.

HBS offers need-based fellowships to those with limited financial resources. While the school itself does not offer merit-based scholarships, they do offer fellowships (about half of students admitted are eligible for a need-based fellowship) students are invited to explore scholarship opportunities through the university or outside sources. U.S. citizens and permanent residents are encouraged to rely on federal loans to finance the rest of their MBA costs. International students may apply to the Harvard University Employees Credit Union for a private educational loan that requires no U.S. cosigner.


Applicants to the Harvard MBA should submit online a GMAT or GRE score, transcripts from any undergraduate or graduate institutions attended, one essay, two recommendation letters, a current résumé, a $250 fee, a completed application form and a signed form stating acceptance of HBS Admission Policies. Applicants who did not attend an English-speaking undergraduate institution should also submit an internet-based TOEFL/IELTS/Pearson Test score. Following an initial review of applications, selected applicants are next invited to interview on campus, in a designated city or over Skype. Interviews last 30 minutes and are conducted by a member of the MBA admissions staff and tailored to the applicant. Within 24 hours after finishing their interview, applicants must submit a reflection on their interview experience. Harvard says the reflection is meant to be like a post-meeting email to a colleague or supervisor.

Application deadlines will be updated in the near future.

Working on your Harvard Business School application? Check out the Clear Admit HBS Essay Topic Analysis for advice on how to approach your essays.

Schools and Programs You May Also Like

Compare Schools/Programs

Search Directory

No GMAT/GRE Programs

Short Registration

Match with reputable MBA/MS programs in minutes by completing your applicant profile with MetroMBA. As a registrant, you will also gain access to resources, advice and exclusive offers as you research and pursue your graduate business school options.
  • Please only indicate the regions you are interested in pursuing your graduate management education. If you select, "all regions" you do not need to select individual regions.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Your compare list